Psychedelic Drugs (aka Psychedelics) Essay

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Psychedelic Drugs (aka Psychedelics)


Throughout human history people have sought experiences that somehow transcend every day life. Some sort of wisdom that might progress their knowledge of self and of the world that they live in. For some reason they believed that the tangible world just could not be all there is to life. Some believed in a greater force that controlled them, some believed of invisible beings that influenced their lives, some of an actual other world that paralleled their own. Many of these people also believed that it was possible to catch a glimpse of these forces, beings, or worlds through a variety of means that propel individuals into altered states of consciousness. These techniques include
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While American Indians are well known for their use of psychedelic agents other cultures have also been known to use psychedelics, especially psilocybin. So-called “magic'; mushrooms also grow naturally in many parts of Europe and Asia. Norse tribesmen, for example, were believed to use Amanita muscaria or fly agaric mushrooms to bring on feelings of rage before going into battle. The same mushroom may have also been the inspiration to the founders of Hinduism. Preparations of datura, the agent found in jimson weed, are used in magic and witchcraft in many areas of the world, (Aaronson, 1970). More recently many artist, writers, and musicians have been known to use mescaline and psilocybin and other naturally occurring hallucinogens such as those found in morning glory seeds, and nutmeg, as well as synthesized hallucinogens like LSD. Because of their mind-expanding qualities, the high insight into reality that they seem to produce, as well as highly complex sensory experiences, some report receiving inspiration from such drugs.

The modern world’s first glimpse into the world of psychedelics was through d-lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by two Swiss chemists from the alkaloid lysergic acid found in ergot, a parasitic fungus that grows on rye and other grains. Five years later, on April 19, 1943 Albert Hoffman, one of LSD’s co-discoverers
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